Sussex Excellence Scholarships (2017)

The Sussex Excellence Scholarship is a merit-based award recognising, and rewarding, undergraduate students who achieved excellent academic performance before joining the University.

The Sussex Excellence Scholarship is worth £3,000 and is awarded in Year One of a three or four year undergraduate degree. The award will be paid as two cash payments - £1,500 in November 2017 and £1,500 March 2018. It is anticipated that you will use £2,000 of this award towards paying for accommodation of your choice.

As the award is automatic, you will receive the award if you meet the eligibility criteria, there is no formal confirmation sent to you separately.

What you get

£3,000 cash award in year one of a three or four year undergraduate degree.

Type of award



You will automatically be awarded the Sussex Excellence Scholarship if you have achieved the required scholarship threshold in one of the eligible academic qualifications. See the full eligibility criteria below for details.

How to apply

If your qualification is listed below and you achieve the minimum grades listed you will be awarded the Sussex Excellence Scholarship. There is no separate application form.

Qualifications not listed above

If you are taking other qualification, and are achieving outstanding results, you can apply for one of 10 additional scholarships. Selection will be based on academic merit. The successful students will be taking qualifications equivalent to British A levels and be achieving very high grades (ie. it is expected that those awarded the scholarship will be achieving results within approximately the top 10% of results for that qualification.

Past recipients of these bonus scholarships have been taking qualifications like the Access to HE Diploma, the Polish Świadectwo Dojrzałości (Certificate of Maturity) and the Malaysian Unified Examination Certificate

Application procedure

Applications will open on Wednesday 1st February 2017 and the deadline for applying is Monday 3rd April 2017. The online application will be available here during this period. Successful applicants will be notified in May.


Frequently asked questions

You will automatically be awarded the Sussex Excellence Scholarship if you have achieved the required scholarship threshold in one of the eligible academic qualifications:

Qualification Minimum criteria

A Level*


BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (QCF)*

Distinction, Distinction, Distinction

International Baccalaureate Diploma

36 points

Austrian Reifeprüfungzeugnis

Overall mark of 1.6

Canadian British Colombia Senior Secondary Graduation Diploma

AAAAB from Grade 12 courses

Canadian Ontario Secondary School Diploma

AAAAAB from Grade12 U or M courses

European Baccalaureate

Overall average of 85%

French Baccalauréat /Option Internationale du Baccalauréat (OIB)

Overall mark of 14

German Abitur

Overall mark of 1.6

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education

Scores of 555 in three subjects, excluding English, Chinese and Core Maths

Indian Standard XII (CBSE, ICSE and Metro boards)

Overall average of 85%

Indian Standard XII (West Bengal)

Overall average of 80%

Norwegian Vitnemal fra den Videregaende Skole

Overall average of 5

Romanian Diplomă de Bacalaureat

Overall average of 9

Spanish Titulo de Bachillerato

Overall average of 8.5

USA Advanced Placement Test

At least three APs with scores of 5 in each

University of Sussex International Study Centre International Foundation Year

Overall average of 80%

Bellerbys College International Foundation Year

Overall average of 80%

*You will also be eligible if you have mixed BTEC and A Level combinations of equal 'size' to 3 A Levels / BTEC Extended Diploma (for example, at least a Distinction in BTEC Subsidiary Diploma (QCF) plus AA in two A Levels; or Distinction Distinction in BTEC Diploma (QCF) plus A in an A Level).

All subject areas are eligible except Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS) degrees.

You must have accepted the University of Sussex as your firm choice.

The Sussex Excellence Scholarship can be combined with other University of Sussex awards.

You must have, or obtain, a UK bank account, and the details of this account must be added to your Sussex Direct profile, in order to receive payment.

What A level grades meet the requirements for the Sussex Excellence Scholarship?

To be eligible for the Sussex Excellence Scholarship, you will need to achieve at least AAA in A level. This means any of the following combinations of grades: AAA or A*AA or A*A*A or A*A*A*.

Other equivalent combinations of grades (such as A*AB) would not meet the eligibility requirements for the scholarship as one of the three grades is below an A grade. To be eligible for the Sussex Excellence Scholarship you must have at least 3 A levels at grade A or higher.

Does the combination of A levels matter?

No, as long as you achieve at least AAA in any three of the A levels you declared on your UCAS application, you will meet the criteria for the scholarship.

Can the International Baccalaureate Diploma score include bonus points?

Yes, the eligibility criteria relates to the overall IB Diploma score, including any bonus points. An overall score of at least 36 points from three Higher and three Standard Level subjects, plus up to three bonus points, would meet the eligibility criteria for the Sussex Excellence Scholarship.

What combinations of BTEC and A level meet the requirements for the Sussex Excellence Scholarship?

Applicants who are taking a BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma (QCF) combined with two A levels would meet the requirements if they achieve at least Distinction in the Subsidiary Diploma and AA in the two A levels. The same grades in the Edexcel Level 3 BTEC National Award (NQF) and two A levels would also be eligible for the Sussex Excellence Scholarship (ie. Distinction plus AA).

For those taking a BTEC Level 3 Diploma (QCF), the eligibility criteria would be met by achieving at least Distinction Distinction in the Diploma combined with an A grade in one A level. A double Distinction (or higher) in the Edexcel Level 3 BTEC National Certificate (NQF) combined with an A grade in an A level would also meet the requirements.

I've applied for deferred entry in 2018, can I still get the Sussex Excellence Scholarship?

Scholarships are awarded in the year in which you start, so the details set out here relate to students starting in September 2017. As you have an offer to start in September 2018, you would need to be considered for the Sussex Excellence Scholarship under the arrangements in place for 2018 entry. Each year the University reviews its scholarship provision and a decision regarding eligibility in subsequent years would be taken in this context.

If I decide to defer my place, can my scholarship be carried over to the next year?

No, this would not be possible. Scholarships are linked to the year you start and eligibility criteria are established each year. If you defer to 2018, you will need to be considered in the context of the 2018 scholarship arrangements. This may well be very similar, but we cannot guarantee this and it is therefore not possible to carry your scholarship over.

What happens if I transfer course?

The award is based upon performance before you joined the University so you will still be eligible for the scholarship provided you are transferring to another course at the University of Sussex. The only exception is if you transfer to the Brighton and Sussex Medical School which is not covered by the Sussex Excellence Scholarship.

I am repeating my first year at Sussex. Am I eligible for the award again?

No, you can only be awarded the Sussex Excellence Scholarship once. If you are repeating your year at Sussex, you will not receive the scholarship again. However, if you are transferring from another university to restart your undergraduate studies at Sussex, and meet the eligibility criteria, you would be awarded the scholarship (as this will be the first time you have received the Sussex Excellence Scholarship).

What happens if I withdraw? Will I need to repay the award?

If you withdraw part way through your course you will not need to repay the award.

I am appealing my grades, can I still receive the award?

If your appeal is successful, and provided you can supply evidence of your grades, you will be eligible for the award. You will need to ensure that you notify the Admissions Office of any change.

I have been awarded the Sussex First Generation Scholars award, can I also get a Sussex Excellence Scholarship?

Yes, you can receive the Excellence Scholarship in addition to the financial element of the First-Generation Scholars scheme.

Contact us

For any qualification / grade related queries please contact Undergraduate Admissions:


For queries about the scholarship please contact the Scholarships Office:



£3,000 cash paid to you in two instalments of £1,500 in November and March. To receive the payment, please ensure that you provide your bank account details when you register in September. Confirmation of the award will show online in November, you will not receive official confirmation before this.


At level(s):